Without a doubt, 2016 was one of the most successful years in Drake's career. He reached some major milestones, like getting nominated for eight Grammy Awards and holding the title for Spotify's Most Streamed Artist and Most Streamed Song of Summer. But for me, it was a really unsuccessful Drake year, because it was one of the most disappointing periods of all time to be a fan. This year, Drake became the problematic fave that ruined my life.
First, let me say, I have always been open about being a fan of Drake as an artist. I have talked about it in great detail with other like-minded fans, and I have proudly shown my support for him in various forms of merchandise. I once dressed up as a "Hotline Bling" girl for Halloween, and I even guest judged a karaoke contest for a Drake-themed exhibit in New York City. As "Summer Sixteen" ran its course, my loyalty for the entertainer started to waver, though.
Being a fan isn't easy when you're a woke millennial and, hopefully, know the difference between right and wrong. It breaks my heart to even have to write this, but I would be a hypocrite if I didn't speak up because these dark thoughts have been haunting me for months. I literally used to "Wake and Drake," and now I feel some type of way when his name comes up in conversation. (Or rather, I feel no ways.)
I’ve long feared the day that Aubrey Drake Graham would do something controversial enough to force me to see him as a mere mortal—to me, he has always been untouchable. He's not like the others; he doesn't make careless mistakes. But I’ve come to realize that I can still be a fan and criticize artists that I admire. I don't know Drake as a person, but I like to believe that he's a good one. Sometimes, he just doesn't choose the best company.
In Drake's own words, "I had to let go of us to show myself what I could do." That said, here are Drake’s most disappointing moments of 2016. I promise I'm not the Sydney that gave up on him in "Redemption," though. I'm just saying, Drake can do better. Fingers crossed that he rights his wrongs in 2017.
1. Drake featured Ian Connor in an October's Very Own lookbook
A huge wave of disappointment washed over me when I found out that Ian Connor was featured in the editorial lookbook for the October's Very Own (OVO) summer '16 collection. For those who weren't following the situation closely, Connor is a 23-year-old stylist mostly known for working with prominent hip-hop/rap artists like A$AP Rocky and Kanye West. This past April, Connor was accused of sexual assault by two women via Twitter. Since then, more women have come forward against him.
It's easy to say that what happened with the lookbook might not have been Drake's call. Maybe he isn't directly involved with the whole casting process for OVO, perhaps he would have made a more suitable pick. (It should be noted that Oliver El-Khatib handles the retail side of the business.) Regardless, Drake's team should have known better. Having Connor be a part of this editorial is a direct reflection of the OVO brand, sending a message that they condone his actions and thereby stand for sexual assault, lack of consent, and disrespect for women. We can't make up excuses for Drake no matter how much we like him.